New Research Scientists join ALWRI

Headshots of research scientists Kathy Zeller and Chris Armatas.

The Aldo Leopold Wilderness Research Institute is excited to welcome two new research scientists to our staff!

Research Social Scientist: Dr. Christopher (Chris) Armatas

Chris joins the Leopold Institute after years of working as a social scientist focused on wildlands management and planning through an interdisciplinary, social-ecological systems lens. More specifically, his research includes qualitative and quantitative approaches to understand how human well-being is supported by the variety of benefits flowing from our public lands, social vulnerability to environmental and land use change, and methods for integrating science into public engagement efforts for large planning processes (Forest Plan revision, comprehensive river management planning). Chris’ desire to work in support of effective stewardship of wilderness and wildlands stems from years spent working on the Yellowstone River and exploring the wild places surrounding Yellowstone National Park. Chris’ start date is March 30, 2020.

Research Biologist: Dr. Katherine (Kathy) Zeller

Kathy has over 15 years of experience as a spatial ecologist. Her research integrates the fields of landscape ecology, wildlife biology, landscape genetics, and biostatistics to conduct quantitative analyses on wildlife populations and ecosystems. It was during Kathy’s first field job in the vast wildlands of Alaska, when she became inspired to work to maintain wild places and the unique resources and benefits they confer. Since this time, Kathy’s research has focused on understanding and quantifying how patterns and processes of human-driven disturbance and climate change affect wildlife populations and large ecological networks. Kathy is particularly interested in modeling connectivity within and among protected lands and in providing spatial products and decision-support tools that are useful to managers and stakeholders. Kathy’s start date is May 26, 2020.